Kerry Mariello talks to her Scarborough players in a timeout during a title run in 2014. Mariello has stepped down as Red Storm coach after 22 seasons. File photo

In the fall of 2002, Scarborough’s field hockey program was in its relative infancy, had never won a playoff game and played on an out-of-the-way field with a scoreboard so antiquated it couldn’t display the minutes and seconds at the same time.

Fast forward to the present day, where the Red Storm are one of the state’s premier powers, producing college-caliber talent on an annual basis and playing on the biggest stages you can find.

The main reason that Scarborough rose from such inauspicious beginnings to its current grandeur is due to the hard work, sweat and tears put in by longtime coach Kerry Mariello, who announced earlier this week that after 22 seasons, 266 victories, five regional titles and a pair of state championships, she is stepping down.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Mariello, who also teaches physical education at Scarborough High School and owns the Dairy Queen in Old Orchard Beach, roles she plans to continue. “It’s a simple decision to step back and watch my daughter (Mia) play in high school, but it’s extremely hard to walk away.”

Kerry Mariello was named The Forecaster’s Coach of the Year on four different occasions. File photo.

Mariello, who was named Coach of the Year by The Forecaster in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2020, helped Biddeford win a state title during her high school career, then went on to play at Plymouth State in New Hampshire. Playing for Madeleine Goulet, a member of the Maine Field Hockey Hall of Fame, in high school, sparked the coaching bug and fresh out of college, Mariello began her career many miles away from Scarborough in a literal and figurative sense, as she coached volleyball, basketball and track in a rough section of San Antonio.

Mariello returned to Maine and in 2002, became the Red Storm’s coach.


Scarborough had restored its varsity program just two years before and a subsequent move from Class B to Class A didn’t help matters.

In Mariello’s first two seasons, the Red Storm won just five games.


With Mariello’s ability to teach and her fiery persona motivating her charges, Scarborough turned the corner in 2004, winning eight regular season games, then outlasting South Portland, then an established power, in an epic preliminary round playoff game, needing 15 rounds of penalty corners to make history with a first-ever postseason win.

“When I initially got there, it was a white-collar style and hopefully, I integrated a blue-collar mentality,” Mariello said. “That was my mindset. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wanted to give the girls a belief that they could fight as hard as they could and that it’s OK to do that. It came down to holding true to my philosophy. I believed we could be great.”

The Red Storm have boasted a winning record every year since and by 2007, reached the regional final, only to lose to Sanford.


The following autumn, Scarborough broke through and reached the Class A state game, but dropped a painful double-overtime decision to Skowhegan.

That made the events of 2009 even sweeter, as the Red Storm went undefeated for the first time before rallying late to force overtime in the state final against Skowhegan, where Ellie Morin scored on a deflection to produce an unforgettable 2-1 victory and culminate Scarborough’s surge to the pinnacle.

“We wanted so badly to get there again,” Mariello said. “You can’t simulate those feelings.”

The Red Storm returned to the state game in 2012 and 2013, losing both times to Skowhegan, then made one more trip the following year, eking out a 1-0 victory on Kristen Murray’s goal with just two seconds left in regulation.

While Scarborough was in the hunt the past several seasons and even got to the regional final in 2021 (losing to Cheverus), it couldn’t break through and make it to the final day.

On Oct. 31 of this year, the Red Storm lost, 7-0, to eventual champion Cheverus in the Class A South semifinals, in what proved to be Mariello’s swan song.


“It’s been an unbelievable ride,” said Mariello, who also lost 75 games and tied eight during her time in Scarborough. “We had a special connection this year, especially that senior group. What a great group to go out with. I called timeout (late in the game) specifically to tell them how much I loved them and how glad I was that they were the team I ended my career with and to thank them.”

Mike LeGage, Scarborough’s longtime athletic director, raved about Mariello’s influence on the field hockey team.

“It’s always difficult to say goodbye to a great coach, especially one who has dedicated so many years to their program,” said LeGage. “During her time, (Coach Mariello) has had a tremendous impact on countless student-athletes. Through her leadership, guidance and passion for the game, she has not only helped her players improve their skills on the field, but she has also instilled important life lessons such as hard work, perseverance and teamwork. Her commitment to her players has undoubtedly played a significant role in the success of the program, both on and off the field.

“Field hockey is an amazing sport that requires a lot of teamwork, strategy, and athleticism, but Coach Mariello equally prioritized academics and personal growth. Coach Mariello understood the value of a well-rounded student-athlete experience, where academic performance is just as important as athletic performance. By instilling these values in her players, she has undoubtedly helped shape the lives of many young athletes and prepared them for success both on and off the field.

“While it’s sad to see Coach Mariello go, her legacy will continue to live on through the athletes she has coached and the lessons she has imparted. Her legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire future players for years to come.”

“Let’s hope that the legacy remains, but I don’t think it was me,” Mariello said. “I think it was the Scarborough kids. They’re great kids. Smart kids. They’re so enjoyable to coach and eager to please and they learned by the second and they made it so easy for me to do my job.”


While Mariello’s successor has yet to be named, don’t be surprised if it comes in the form of someone she inspired, a list that easily numbers in the hundreds.

Caitlin Albert was one of those players. She played for Mariello, coached alongside her, then later became the coach at Biddeford. Now Caitlin Tremberth, she led the Tigers to the state title in 2018.

“I had the opportunity to play for Kerry in her first three years at Scarborough and coach alongside her for two years as she began the building of what truly became one of those top programs in the state,” Tremberth said. “It was clear right away upon her taking over the program that her high standards, her philosophies and her passion for growing the game were all in alignment to make a great program and she did just that. All of us ‘Mariello boot camp’ survivors can all give you our versions of the intensity and rigor of the fitness aspect, the tone she set at the beginning and her clear expectations and it truly made us all believers. She has a special way of showing you how much she cares about each and every player and in turn, she gains your respect right away, so that whatever she asks you work your butt off to make it happen. She’s been a huge inspiration to me and helped me fall in love with the sport. I owe a lot of my own personal success on and off the field to her, because she taught me how to believe in myself, work hard and share that passion for the game.

“I’m happy for Kerry, I know after talking with her that it’s time and as hard as it is to walk away from something you love and has been a huge part of your life, that she is looking forward to just being a Mom. She will go down as one of the best coaches in the state of Maine and I’m so lucky to be able to say that I played for her and learned from her.”

Going forward, Tremberth, along with Goulet, who is still part of the Biddeford coaching staff, will get an opportunity to coach Mia Mariello.

“Mia will get to be coached by my former player and my own coach,” Mariello said. “I’ve come full-circle.”

“It’s going to be quite the experience,” Tremberth said. “Mia is a diamond in the rough. A very talented athlete, even better kid and a workhorse, I mean, her mom is Coach Mariello. You’ll definitely be hearing her name over the next four-plus years.”

Mariello isn’t ruling out coaching again at some point down the road. Regardless of what she chooses, her impact on the Scarborough program won’t ever be forgotten.

“To see the girls succeed year after year in so many ways was a prize in and of itself,” Mariello said. “Scarborough field hockey did more for me than it will ever realize. It was a labor of love and it’s just been awesome.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: